'UK's Strong Man !'

Date of birth: July 25,1970 (age 46)

Current Residence: Saltburn by the Sea, England

Height: 5 ft 7 in 

Married /Significant: Vic (together for 24 years)

Children.  Son: Harry (age 4) Daughter: Amelie (age 10)

Profession: Rock Climber, Coaching, Route Setter

Hardest Sport Climb: Rainman 9b - 5.15b

Hardest Onsight: 8b

Sponsors: Petzl, Five Ten, Beal Ropes

Books: Beyond Limits


ABOUT: Steve McClure (born July 25, 1970) started climbing when he was a child with his parents. Initially he practiced trad climbing and started sport climbing only when he was 24.  In 1998 he made the first ascent of Mutation, at Raven Tor, his first 9a and second 9a of UK in history.


In 2000 he made the first ascent of another 9a, Northern Lights, in Kilnsey. The route was an old project of Ben Moon.  In 2003 he established his third 9a, with the first ascent of Rainshadow, in Malham Cove.  From 2000 to 2004 he competed in the Lead Climbing World Cup and in European Championships.


On May 23, 2007 he made the first ascent of his hardest route, Overshadow in Malham Cove. This route is an extension to the 8a+ Overnite Sensation and at 2013 it represents the UK's hardest sport route. The free ascent took McClure about 30 days of work in three years.   On May 16, 2011 Adam Ondra made the first and only repeat of the route, confirming the grade as a hard 9a+ (5.15a).


In 2017 McClure completed his seven year project in Malham Cove; Rainman.  Although Steve was reluctant to give the route a grade, he believed Rainman to be be considerably harder than Overshadow 9a+ (5.15a) - thus giving the route a modest grade of 9b (5.15b), making it UK's hardest route, and one of the hardest routes in the world.

"That's the thing about life, having something to look forward too, something to motivate for.  If you have something, it makes such a difference to your state of mind."

Margo Hayes


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 "That's the thing about life, having something to look forward too, something to motivate for.  If you have something, it makes such a difference to your state of mind."

In 2017, BMC ambassador and top sport climber Steve McClure finally climbed his seven-year mega-project at Malham, Rainman, to give the UK its first-ever 9b.  The route, at Malham Cove in Yorkshire, climbs up the classic Raindogs (8a) then climbs the bulge into Rainshadow (9a). After the crux of Rainshadow, which moves left onto better holds, Rainman blasts pretty much straight up to eventually join Bat Route. It does link existing routes but there’s a bunch of new climbing.  To learn more about Steve, please vistit his profile page.


Overshadow 9a+/5.15a

Confirmed by the legendary Adam Ondra as a solid 9a+, McClure's route extends Steve Dunning’s Northern Exposure (8b+/5.14a) from its halfway mark on the face, works up another 30 feet on razor thin edges into the last 20 feet of Jerry Moffatt’s Progress(8c+/5.14c).  This ascent, which was established 2008, was hailed as UK's hardest route. 

"I thrive on finding a way, a path through difficulties that don’t rely on strength. I live for the immersion that climbing can give, all thoughts cast aside with only pure movement remaining."

Northern Exposure 9a+/5.15a

Northern Lights in Kilnsey, UK, was an abandoned Ben Moon project, Steve McClure sent the route in astonishing speed, who commented "the route finished in the middle of nowhere really, at a small hold half way up and needed extending to the top. And thats my job! The route is amazing, very continuous, with crap holds all the way. I thought it would take ages but in the end I needed just 3 days this year, plus a bunch before."

Bat Shadow 8c+/5.14c

UK's top sport climber Steve McClure takes on the "longest route I've ever done" taking the best bits from 3 routes at Malham Cove Yorkshire.
McClure states "This is a link-up of exiting routes, starting up Bat route 8c/8c+, then going left into Rainshadow which is probably about 9a and then going left again in Overshadow which is probably about 9a+ and takes in the best climbing of all the routes!"  Soure: Posing Productions

Mutation 9a/5.14d

Mutation 9a/5.14d - Steve McClure's unrepeated '98'test piece at Raven Thor, Derbyshire, Peak District, England, is a crimpfest extension of Jerry Moffatt's route, Evolution 8c+, which was established back in 1995.   

"Awkward holds require thought and unlocking; up and down I chipped away at a sequence.  This was amazing.  With no chance of more gear, and a bomber by my feet as in sport climbing mode; it was all about the movement; no fear.  I was going to the top or I was coming off."  

Rhapsody E11

Rhapsody E11 - Six days after Sonny Trotter captured the 2nd ascent of David Macleod's test piece in Dumbarton Rock, Scottland, Steve McClure nabbed the 3rd ascent, after just four days work - marking the fastest ascent of the line to date.  Note: Macleod established the route in 2006 after two years work and seventy days on the route.  

"Plenty of people are on the same level as me in terms of climbing. The real marker is how hard you push yourself, how motivated you are and how much you enjoy it. Its all relative. Climbing is my passion, all the routes I try are routes that inspire me. It's important to climb for the right reasons."  Steve McClure quote from UK Climbing interview.  

Steve Mclure and Malham Cove 

Steve Mclure: BMC Ambassador

"You can climb a route ten different ways.  You can be super powerful and burl your way up it.  Or you can be super technical and find the perfect body position and make it as easy as possible.  That's how I do it."